Healthier or Different?

Amy Eisenman's picture

It’s been a while since I’ve done a blog here. Life certainly goes fast and I’ve found it quite challenging to find time to just “chat” (that’s how I like to refer to my blogging… “chatting”). There is something I’d like to discuss and I’m not quite sure how I want to address it all so I’m going to take it one step at a time and hope I don’t completely word vomit all over myself.

As humans, we have the tendency to replace those things deemed as “unhealthy” with “healthier” options. But Amy, why did you put “healthier” in parenthesis? Because a majority of the time the “healthier” option is anything but. Let’s start to review this idea with some little examples… how about some food options? Sugar free ice cream. Some look at this alternative as the “healthier” option. Lower sugar means lower carbs and we all know that carbs are “bad”, or are they? When you look at the ingredients in sugar free ice cream (or even it’s cousin, no sugar added) you’ll actually notice an addition of ingredients, which you can’t pronounce, added fat (gotta make it taste good somehow!) and those yummy sugar alcohols. Makes you wonder if your sugar free/no sugar added ice cream is really all that better. We can make this same argument with low carb and low fat – how do they make it taste good? Check the ingredients and the nutrition facts!

Now, of course, I’m not going to spend the next few scrolls talking about food (although I can if you’d like me to!) and want to focus on one of the replacements that has been quite infamous in the news recently – vaping. E-cigarettes have been on the market for a hot minute now. The most well known company, and one the adolescent population has a great liking for, is Juul. Juul was founded in 2015 and disconnected from their parent company, Pax Labs, in 2017. Their hope was to assist people in decreasing the amount they smoked and to make it… here is the word… “healthier.” As I write this out I’m giggling a little bit to myself. This company’s goal was to make smoking (aka, inhaling hot gas into your lungs) “healthier.”

The argument here is that a large portion of the population smokes cigarettes and if there is a “healthier” option that decreases the harshness on the lungs and amount of chemicals people are inhaling, why not? This is where my argument lies, is this “healthier” option truly healthier? People are now taking the cartridges that the nicotine and THC liquid is being held in and refilling it with their own concoction. This homemade liquid is one of the suspects for an increase in lung illnesses and fatalities (I know, they haven’t 100% found the cause yet).

For me, this all seems somewhat ridiculous. We’ve created a device that still creates harm, just in a different way. While this device has been the “healthier” option most publicized it is definitely not the only “healthier” option our society has created to substitute the unhealthy options. Be mindful, and weary, of the advertising. Are you really using the healthier option or are you replacing one unhealthy habit with another? What is easiest as a replacement is not always best.